With the unsated anticipation pervading the air before the first show of the season, Lou Dalton opened LC:M SS14 with a smart homage to the working-man’s wardrobe.
Taking inspiration from the apparel of farmhands that Dalton fondly recalls from her childhood in rural Shropshire, the collection was an intelligent combination of utility separates infused with sporty military details.
Washed-out cottons and corduroys, softened by their hand treatments, were pivotal to the collection, as were bleached denims in fresh and light shades of dusty pink and blue.
Committing what was considered a sartorial faux pas a few years ago, Dalton sent her models down the runway clad in bleached double-denim ensembles.
Western jackets and shearling-collared bombers gave the collection a typically masculine edge, whilst carefully structured paneling and padding spoke of the designer’s adept talent for structured engineering.
Fair Isle knits crafted from English wool were showcased alongside sharp and purposeful houndstooth tailoring, reasserting Dalton’s patriotic British streak.
Wool and cashmere fabrics were used in oversized coats, which gave a texture-rich contrast to the denim and corduroy that dominated the line, whilst suede inserts and contrast stitching were defining details of the garments.
A tracksuit constructed of cool wool was embellished with suede chevrons on the sleeves and legs; it was a luxurious take on a leisurewear staple.
Northampton shoemakers Grenson were the collaborative partner for the footwear; its heavy duty army boots in warming Oxblood and black were an authoritative stamp on British heritage.
With its functional, yet detailed utility separates and military treatments, Dalton’s AW14 collection spoke coherently of the direction of contemporary menswear, in a manner that puts British design firmly on the map.
All Images courtesy of Style.com